Why would you choose to be a single parent when you can co-parent?
If you don't follow Carrie Ann aka: @Mre.soeur on Insta then you need to do that. now.
This girl is leading the way with single mom media as her clothing brand completely takes IG by storm, behind the scenes though she openly shares, a lot, of her personal life. Her little boy Riv is all over her stories sporting threads from her line, and Carrie shares most aspects of her day to day life, giving a real insight into the everyday life of a Entrepreneurial single momma! This fully includes discussing her regimes and details of her co-parenting relationship with Rivs father, inspiring single mommas everywhere that they too can mutually adopt the same attitude with their ex's for the sake of their children. Truly inspiring. Go follow.
Most of my friends with children in their early 30's have split from their children dads, including myself, and I've come to learn one thing.
No matter what your life morals are, your children absolutely deserve to know each parent, and indeed maternal and paternal grandparents and extended members of family.
Even the most unable of parents (i.e. those physically unable for example those who are incarcerated) are allowed supervised access to their children in most cases.
I've been there, you think you're protecting your children from a potential future of lifestyle choices you don't agree with, you can convince yourself that the other parent isn't as careful, streetwise or mature, you can tell yourself and others that you're protecting your child from emotional upset and distress.. I'm talking in generalised terms here, there are a million legal reasons why a Court may for example decide that a parent cannot have full legal access to a child, but that's a whole other post..
When really all that it takes is some mutual understanding that the childs best interests are at heart.
I remember my ex passing his driving test and coming to collect the kids for the first time, I was petrified and had he been my partner at the time I'd have insisted on driving whilst the kids were with us until he'd had enough practise driving safely alone, but I couldn't very well tell him he wasn't taking them because he was a new driver, I had to put some faith and trust in that he'd go safe and protect them just as much as I would. That same concept goes for pretty much everything whilst my angels are in someone else's care, I have to make sure I'm meeting their needs by over ruling my personal worries and affairs because they become so irrelevant when I see their little faces light up when they know it's time to go to daddies house.
There's nothing more upsetting than watching an estranged child and their biological parent bond too late because the parents just couldn't set their differences aside and accept that the children are what really matters.
Again, I speak from a very personal place on this one as I've witnessed it three times, from the absolute eye of the storm.
Co-parenting is so important, I've done it all, communication books, the endless pathetic legal emails, separate parents evenings; So in no way is this a perfect mom preach post, no no no..
I've been that bitter ex, that immature mother who's convinced herself and everyone around her that she's doing the right thing by her child, protecting her child, and it took some time for me to recognise that I had been extremely selfish, and that I should have put faith in the system that is their to protect children during family breakdowns, should have accepted the mediation, should have made travel arrangements work, should have paid more attention to that genuine smile across my child's face when he was with him..
I like to think I have a stable relationship with my little ones dad, we can Co-parent with our partners, we can socialise for the children's sakes, parents evenings aren't an issue and birthdays well joint parties won't be the end of the world. We know that the children have to come first and that finances, drop off times, cancellations and school shoes are not the be all and end all and they don't need to have such a dramatic impact on our ability to co-parent.
And for goodness sake, new partners etc, break ups are hard sure, but when there's children involved.. need I get the stats for how many new step-families form in the UK each day?.. New partners are just another thing ex partners will have to accept. (providing they don't pose a risk- can't believe i'm having to legalise/disclaimer my blog.. ha) Yes there are boundaries of course, and yes people over-step them, that's what the legal system is for, In the UK we actually have a really good mediation service & legal system should it get to that stage to protect our parental responsibility and our children, people abusing that system are the only problem in my eyes.
I hear no end of stories about contact stopping because there are financial disputes, schooling disputes, angst because the childs broken a finger in the other parents care, being an hour late being used as an excuse to change contact arrangements...News flash hons, lot's going to need to alter and change and be accepted over the next 50 years that you'll be co-parenting, learn to embrace change..!
Children need a steady and stable routine and both parents being able to communicate, even if its only about the child and no casual friendliness, that's far better than disallowing any form of mutual parenting at all.
Me and my ex both have the kids best interests at heart, we may not always agree, and yes we argue at times, but that's temporary and mostly we choose to work together, compromise and communicate as best we can. We both have to give a little, be kind and show understanding with each other.
The 4 C's.
4 things to consider first: Children's centres running parenting classes nationwide refer to the 4 c's which usually helps during mediation and throughout to snap parents back into perspective.